Representatives of indigenous Herero and Nama people of Namibia filed a lawsuit against Germany in New York. On July, Germany had acknowledged that Herero and Nama people were subjected to genocide.
Today’s Namibia was a colony of the German Empire and German troops killed over 100,000 people during the genocide that was carried out between 1904 and 1908 against Herero and Nama people.
After the joint declaration acknowledging the genocide, Namibia and Germany held meetings, but the descendants of the victims were excluded from the meetings.
Unlike with the victims of World War II atrocities, Germany refused to pay reparations to victims of Herero and Nama genocide and announced that it paid millions of dollars as development aid.
Descendants of Herero and Nama people filed a lawsuit against Germany in the US. According to Spiegel Online, victims demand reparations and involvement in the talks.
In the 22-page-long complaint, it is stated that German army invaded the lands of Herero and Nama people, carried out genocide, raped women and girls and the damage hasn’t been compensated.
Making a statement on the lawsuit, spokesperson of German Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that they have “reasonable grounds” for not meeting with the representatives of Herero and Nama people directly and noted that there are talks between governments without excluding NGOs.
The lawsuit states that Germany caused the following damages:
- From 1885 to 1903, about a quarter of Herero and Nama lands were taken without compensation by settlers with official oversight. German descendants still farm some of that land today.
- Colonial authorities ignored rapes of Herero and Nama women and girls as well as indigenous forced labour.
- As many as 100,000 Herero and Nama people died after they rebelled in 1904 in a campaign led by Lieutenant General Lothar von Trotha